What Types Of Accounts Are FDIC Insured? Are My Investments Safe?

What accounts are FDIC-insured? Which aren’t? Now that a fund that markets itself as the world’s “first and longest running money fund,” suddenly found itself in the nearly unprecedented position of having to “break the buck,” we thought we’d help clarify. Here we go:

These types of accounts are generally FDIC insured:

Checking, savings, trust, certificates of deposit (CDs), IRA retirement accounts, and money market deposit accounts.

A money market deposit account earns interest at a rate set by the bank and usually limits the customer to a certain number of transactions within a stated time period. Do not confuse a money market mutual fund with an FDIC-insured money market deposit account, which earns interest in an amount determined by, and paid by, the financial institution where your funds are deposited.

These investments are not FDIC insured:

Mutual funds, annuities, life insurance policies, stocks and bonds.

What type of insurance covers my investments?

Your investments (mutual funds, stocks, etc.) are not insured against market risk — their value may go up or down depending on the market. You are, however, likely insured against the failure of your broker, or a bank’s brokerage subsidiary, by the Securities Investors Protection Corporation. This institution will replace securities that you own that go missing in accounts held by its members up to $500,000, including up to $100,000 in cash, if a member brokerage or bank brokerage subsidiary fails.

If you’d like more information, check out the FDIC’s website.

Insured or Not Insured?


Edit Your Comment

  1. Awesome and handy refrence for all my friends that seem to have found their tinfoil hats again.


  2. metsarethe... says:


    Citi and Wells Fargo express interest in WaMu

    End threadjack/

  3. ARP says:

    Granular question- say I have a “linked” checking account and savings account. For FDIC purposes I have two accounts correct?

    The reason I ask is that the tinfoil hat in me wonders if there are a few major bank crashes, that FDIC might only be able to provide a portion or percentage of your money in these accounts.

    • Bladefist says:

      @ARP: uhhh, I think it’s per person per bank.

      IE, if you have over 100k combined, you could be in trouble. Otherwise people would make 10- $100k accounts, to store their 1 million.

      And also, 100k is the min amt they promise. If the account is joint with another person, or under a couple other stipulations, you can actually be insured up to 200k I believe. With banks how they are right now, have a max combined of 100k per bank to be safe.

      • somewhat lord of PRNG attacks says:

        @Bladefist: You can have much more than 200k insured, depending on how you have the payable on death statements structured on an account. The FDIC has a handy calculator: [www.fdic.gov]

      • Coles_Law says:

        @Bladefist: Oops, I should’ve refreshed before posting.

      • ARP says:

        @Coles_Law: Thanks to both.

        The reason I ask is the following: [news.yahoo.com]

        If FDIC is forced to limit how much they can pay in claims (i.e. below the $100k) due to insufficient funding, I’d like know how to maximize my recovery potential. Granted, if this happens, we’re in a sh*tload of trouble already.

        • Bladefist says:

          @ARP: It’s funny, I posted a comment a few months ago, saying ‘what if the FDIC didn’t have the funds to pay the full 100k and I got blasted as a huge idiot.

          I wouldn’t trust the government with a penny. Put it in banks that are doing well (ie the banks that didn’t make predatory loans). One bank that is doing well is UMB.

          Find banks doing very well, (ie stock is up), put your money there, and check every month. You’ll be fine.

    • Coles_Law says:

      @ARP: The FDIC limit is $100,000 per person per bank. Having two accounts at the same bank will not help.

  4. Gopher bond says:

    Of course if we get hyper-inflations and a cup of coffee costs $100, then being insured for $100K isn’t all that resassuring.

  5. Carso says:

    I think we need Finance Dog to accompany Tax Cat, especially considering the current market instability and innumerable questions that consumers will have regarding the safety of their deposits.

    I nominate myself for the position.

  6. bologna_wallet says:

    If the FDIC doesn’t get a bailout from the US government, then we all have a lot more to worry about than missing checking account funds.

    • Ben Popken says:

      @bologna_wallet: If the FDIC doesn’t get bailed out, then every single CongressCritter will be out of a job during his/her next election. Which will be the least of anyone’s worries by that point. Suffice to say, it’s not going to happen.

  7. sayers01 says:

    The thought that you are only covered up to 100k in each bank you deal with is a common misconception. You can title each account differently and you will be covered for 100k in each account.

    EX: John Smith= 100k, John A Smith= 100k, John and Mary Smith= 200k, etc.

    You can also utilize a bank’s different charters if they have more than one to put 100k in each. The possibilities are endless.

    • skycrashesdown says:

      @sayers01: I actually just started working at a (financially stable, thankfully) bank – definitely picked an interesting time to start! All I have done all month is open new accounts for people with large checks from WaMu, and help people restructure their accounts for maximum coverage.

      FDIC coverage is determined by the types of ownership you have on your accounts, so if you have two different accounts with slight variations on your name, they’re still both individual ownerships being reported under the same Social Security number, so your insurance coverage is still a total of $100,000 for those two accounts together.

      But yes, if you have a single owner account, there’s $100,000 in coverage, and if you open a joint account with another owner at the same bank, that account is covered up to $200,000 (that is, $100,000 for each of you.) If you opened a third account, and listed your three children as beneficiaries (that is, a revocable trust/POD), there would be another $100,000 for each beneficiary.

      In my admittedly limited experience so far, most of our customers previously either assumed that they had $100,000 coverage on each account regardless of how it was set up, or that they had $100,000 in coverage, period.

  8. duffm4n says:

    Did anyone else laugh at John McCain when he mixed up the I and the P in SiPC?

  9. undeadsac says:

    the coverage for FDIC, as far as I know, is available per account titling, the way to better explain this would be *I have an account in my name Undead, my wife has an account in her name Wife, we both have 100k coverage under FDIC, and the joint account we have that is titled as a joint account would also receive the 100k FDIC coverage, but any secondary account that I have solely in my name would not have coverage etc.

    I’ve always been under the impression that SIPC coverage only guaranteed 300k, not 500k, but I could very well be wrong about that.

  10. CrackerJaX says:

    A note about life insurance payouts: State governments will take over policies if the company goes insolvent. No federal protection but its something. AIG is one of the largest sellers of life insurance in the world and if they did collapse, the state agencies would then have to payout any death benefits as well as collect premiums on the policies.

  11. YoungSaver says:

    Young saver needs advice! I opened my 1st bank account recently – a money market deposit account. I understand that it is FDIC-insured. But, is the value of my account safe?

    Given the recent news about money market funds having to “break the buck”, I am very concerned whether my account could also “break the buck”, like those money market funds I read in the headlines? For example, could a saving value of $100 in my account suddenly decrease to $97 – I heard that’s what happened to a Reserve’s money market fund.